I know I’ve been feeling all the things I should be productively doing, and in return exchanging a set of emotions as if there is too much to do! Suddenly my inbox has been flooded with free courses, webinars, live workouts, etc. which is amazing and I’m so grateful but now I feel the pressure to take advantage and complete all of it right? On top of it, also receiving different pressures from different generations as to the “work we should be doing” and using our time efficiently during this time too. However, it is so important to remember that while this pause has the ability to spark moments of creativity, and we should lean into that; we should also be cautious of when the ego is trying to jump in to push us back into our comfort zone of doing “all the things” and not stopping until our to-do lists have regenerated into new to-do lists.
To truly slowdown in this time of pause takes a lot of work. In fact, I’ve been experiencing my own form of a break (which I’ve been searching for the last 5+ years) since January and it has taken me a full three months before I could mentally be totally okay with going slower. Changing habits and wired ways of thinking is tough. It took at least three months for me to stop waking up wondering what I needed to get done that day, wondering what emails were waiting for me on my phone or fearing what I could have possibly done wrong the previous day that was coming to haunt me on that new day. All these thoughts happening to someone who does practice morning rituals, understands and practices manifestation, the power of releasing fear-based thoughts, meditation, etc.
After all, in the year 2020 we’d all be lying if we didn’t admit that no matter how our fine-tuned our wellness routines are, the power of our minds and technology ridden lifestyles still creep up to get the best of us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suddenly living this enlightened life three months later, but I am able to actually enjoy my morning routine seven days a week and wake up thinking what can I do for me, instead of always about what I could do for others or what others are constantly needing from me. It has taken me just about three months to finally reprogram my mind and get to a point where going slow feels good again, my email doesn’t own me, and neither does anyone else’s expectations as to how I should be utilizing my time. And in effect my natural sense of creativity, wonder, curiosity, and overall passion for life came back full swing. All just in time for our entire world to shut down to an invisible force we know to be COVID-19.
Don’t get me wrong, COVID-19 hasn’t been a walk in the park for me either, it has been its own eye-opening, shocking, and grounding experience. A lot of hardship has been created. However, there has also been a tiny glimmer of hope, a silver lining resting underneath of it as well. A chance for us to all wake back up. Wake back up to not only save our planet but to save ourselves as human species.
It’s funny because I’ve needed this break for the last five years and someone who has lived on this earth far longer than me would probably scoff as to how someone in their mid-twenties or thirties would need a break so badly. But that is where we are as a collective society. And it is absolutely awful. We aren’t far off from emails and cell phones becoming known as the next chronic diseases, if they aren’t labeled as that already. We have become so unaware of our own needs that those in their twenties, a mere few years into the work force, are begging for breaks before they burnout if they haven’t already. That’s not sustainable is it? A world full of burned out individuals crawling through life with anxiety and depression oozing from their skin cells.
It’s not sustainable and it is the reason chronic illness is becoming a critical issue not only in the U.S. but throughout our entire world. New statistics show that annually, 70% of deaths are caused by chronic illness. And what breeds chronic illness? Stress. Poor health. Poor nutrition. Processed foods. Not enough Vitamin D. Anxiety. Depression. Poor digestion. Weakened immune systems. Toxins.
Just like our way of living and treating our planet has not been sustainable either. Really if you look at it, nothing we’ve been doing is sustainable; not the way we treat ourselves or our neighbors or our beautiful planet we are so fortunate to live on. Which in effect means we haven’t been living in our true powers, our greatest versions or being the best we can be in this lifetime. We are living by default, hiding our deepest passions in order to conform, and listening to how others think we should be living and who the media wants us to be.
So, as some may speculate something had to change, something had to be done to get us as humans to a look at not only the way we were living (and knew deep down we needed a change), but the way we were treating our planet. Mother Earth swept in to help us. Help clean her own airways and oceans, give the trees and animals reason to sing again and throw in just enough drama and fear to force every human to take a moment to stop and pause.
Force families to spend more time together in the last three weeks then they’ve spent the last three years. Force us to actually tend to our gardens, fix up the weak spots in our homes, and best of all enjoy the grass and fresh air embodying our back yards. Force us to get back into our own kitchens cooking meals with love for our families and loved ones, take notice of our own health and ability to withstand disease, and reset our circadian rhythms. Force us to suddenly need human connection, reconnecting our relationships and forming new ways to give and receive and love.
Simply slow down, take a breath and soak in the present moment.
Soak in and embody the present moment in order to reprogram ourselves back to how we should be living as humans. For it’s never too late to make a change in one’s life, sometimes a little forceful motivation is all that is needed.
Loving Your Own Soul or #LYOSLife, as I’ve created it, is a mindful exploration to living a more fluid life with a deeper connection to the soul. The process of not only loving yourself but diving deep and pulling back the layers, so that you can truly the appreciate the beautiful soul inside of your human body.
And, it was from that day forward I promised myself that we would no longer take life so seriously, we’d have more fun, we’d let go, and we’d dive deep inside of ourselves so as to not only heal on an inner and outer level, but we’d focus on what our purpose in this lifetime is. We’d trust our intuition, lead by the power of the Universe and do more of what we love (no matter what anyone else thinks).
This journey may bring about a lot of things such as recipes, sharing of healing procedures, sharing of various spiritual practices, wellness routines, contemplated thoughts spoken from the soul, a podcast down the road, a coaching program, e-books, cookbooks, books, speaking engagements and so much more! However, as I work on judging myself less, beating the limiting thoughts in my head, and my fears of other’s opinions; I ask that if you choose to follow this journey, you do so without judgement of me as well.
I do welcome all suggestions, questions, comments, engaging conversations, and words of encouragement to this space. I simply ask that any negativity or limiting beliefs towards myself that you carry, are kept inside of you or released elsewhere. If you do not respect this outlet that I’m creating, you have a choice to disconnect and not follow along. It is my hope that if you carry these feelings, you respect yourself enough to not engage in something you don’t connect with. After all we should all be more compassionate towards our intuitions. <3
- The light in me honors the light in you | Britt Olson
Ps. For those of you who have known me for a while, yes, I’ve tiptoed down this road before in different, yet similar capacities. However out of fear, I stopped, retracted, and second guessed every single move that I was making. I never gave myself the time or energy to fully see where it could go, and while I wish I could turn back time and would have seen it through, I also believe that what is in me has never left me. There is always a greater, more divine plan in place for all of us. They say timing is everything right?
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A psychic once told me to write down the month of September and circle it because I would be winning something in that month. Every year the month came and went. I always thought well let’s see what happens, maybe this September will be it. And then it would pass and I figured, oh well maybe next year. Never really paying much attention but always being curious to the idea. After all who doesn’t want to win something right?
Well today it happened. September 26, 2016. My idea came to me. An idea I knew was inside of me but have never truly known how to pull it from my head. It was generated from a phone conversation and it finally sparked my creative flair. Sure I have had moments and times of that feeling of ecstasy to the brain, that revelation of “this is what I’m supposed to do.” Those moments I like to believe were checkpoints to my soul, to knowing that my idea is in me and it is me. Telling my soul to relax and that it is still there. It’s not lost, it just doesn’t know how to come out yet.
Yes, I’ve been writing recently. Mostly lots of forceful writing that then turned into a rush of excitement, that feeling of “yes, I’ve got it!”
I never truly had it.
I’ve rediscovered my love for writing and have let it become my medium for expression. And yes I am fully aware that my posts are not grammatically correct and don’t always make sense the first time through. Have you ever had a conversation with me when I am at my all time high of joy, excitement or overall giddiness? You probably wouldn’t have guessed that English is my first language either.
Well tonight I found what I was yearning for. And how do I know tonight is the night? Because I can feel it. I feel it in the bottom of my stomach and in the light-headed yet crystal clear mind within me. I feel it running through me and I feel alive. I stepped outside for a quick run, some fresh air and I felt it. My usual view was different. I was fully aware of everything around me, even the colors and the usual smells were different. That is because tonight everything clicked and boy did it click. My idea, my intuition, the reason I am doing what I am doing.
I won and I will be forever grateful. I found my prize and it was in my head this entire time. It is as simple as that. THANK YOU!
What is that you may ask?
It is the answer I have been searching for, the answer I will be able to one day share with all of you. (Stay tuned....please do).
The irony of it all? I already won this month. I won in a way that most won’t be able to understand because for them to understand, it makes them feel too uncomfortable. And as a society we don’t do well when others make us feel uncomfortable.
And if you don’t understand or can’t bare to understand this post, that is okay. Because you are the reader not the creator. And if you’ve made it this far…good for you!
Until then, Namaste.
The last time I posted, I was taking off to a new part of the world. A part of the world that brought more actualization and a calming security to my life than I can describe. I will share my journey in the "Travels" section in just a few days.
However, something special happened this afternoon and its not the first special moment that has happened this year. But it was a moment that I came to terms with the day prior but only truly realized that the decision belonged to me (and solely me) this afternoon.
One of the greatest parts of life is when you inspire someone without the intention of inspiring them. Life can be pretty humorously sweet sometimes can’t it?
To have your own mom (who I will always look up to and love more than life itself) tell you that your younger brother called you his “role model and hopes to love a girl with your same values and outlook on life one day,” is probably one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world.
It was one of the proudest moments of my life so far. Like a proud mama bear watching her young take on the world. The serendipitous part of the story was the day, time and current state of my own life in which I learned this news.
We aren’t always able to give a reason to everything but we can shout out a huge THANK YOU after the fact.
It’s a beautiful feeling to think that while I am figuring out my own life (spoiler alert: I still have a long way to go), I am also unconsciously inspiring someone around me. My own “learned” words, actions and philosophies on living an amazing life, inspired someone else’s life. And not just anyone, but the one in my life to which it is my duty to lead and guide through life; my younger brother.
Taking the situation one step further, is identifying the circumstance of the situation. For this information came into my life during a time when I was experiencing my own self-doubt. Now that is what I like to call cause and effect, serendipity, love and just living a fluid life.
Being true myself, digging deep and trying to understand what tugs at my heart vs. what sends me down a dark spiraling hole in life, was a process that my younger brother was watching and taking notes on. It left him feeling inspired with the notion to push forward and strive for the things he wants in life. And in return his acceptance and acknowledgement turned right back around and pushed me forward; bringing immense clarity to a moment in life that I was deeply struggling with. That is what I like to call a spiritual win- win.
And no I don’t think Stephen Covey talked about “spiritual win-wins” in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but I do believe they exist.
What is even more special about this win-win situation was that the situation occurred without either person trying to make it occur. It simply happened.
The beauty of life will forever be enchanting and a constant lesson and revelation. Once you can welcome the unexpected, have faith in the people, reasons, seasons and circumstances in life; you too can breath and move further down the road your soul is meant to find. The greater gift is that your adventure is in return, inspiring and bringing light to those around you…making the world a better place.
And at the end of it all, remember to stay grateful and shout THANK YOU out into the world around you.
We all get so caught up in our day-to-day routines, actions and mindsets that we often forget to appreciate all the beauty in life around us. I fall victim to it all the time, we all do – we are human after all. We hit snooze 4 times to then rush out of bed, rush through our morning routine, rush to get our coffee and wait not so patiently for that jolt of caffeine to finally take over the brain. Then we rush through traffic and through the door of the workplace to then dedicate the next 8 hours to the needs of a hundred other people. Topping it off with rushing back home to repeat it again the next day and the day after that one too. That can’t be the purpose of living life is it?
Letting your most “peaceful” time of day be the extra 30 minutes that you hit snooze every 5 minutes until you finally pull yourself out of bed? Whatever happened to the gratitude for yourself and the life around you? The appreciation that you are an able bodied person who is able to rise freely from your bed for a job that allows you to meet the basic necessities? That’s right, in the midst of the all the pain and energy that it takes to rise from bed, did you ever consider that you are already more fortunate than some people on our planet? That the fact that you are already so fortunate because you are able to wake up, get out of bed on your own, with a purpose? When you look at it that way maybe getting up out of bed isn’t so bad after all. Do you really want to set the intention that you would rather be a sleeping body than someone capable of celebrating life?
Instead of wallowing in the small pitfalls of life or the times of “struggle,” instead try to remember how fortunate you truly are. You have to wake up because you have a job. Some people will never experience that in their entire lifetime. We can’t always justify our lives and sometimes we are dealt a hand of cards that we may not agree with. However, if you embrace what you have and find gratitude for the smallest amount that you have been given; you will not only begin to live a life of happiness (in whatever form that may be) but you will begin to slowly radiate that joy out into the world. If we were all able to use our time and gifts in positive ways, we have the power to make the world a better place. As Rumi once said, “what you seek is seeking you.”
So here is a challenge for each and every one of you today, do something good for someone else as a token of gratitude for the life that you have been given. Not only will you transform someone else’s day (even if it is just for 1 minute, that is still 1 minute of love that may not have existed otherwise), but you will transform your own day because nothing feels better than knowing that you made someone else smile. It’s fun! And after a while it can actually be addicting and the unexpected gifts and positive moments that follow are the most unexpected and beautiful times of all. The power of positivity works, I promise.
For those of you who don’t believe or feel lost or don’t know how to introduce the sense of “fluid moment” into life, take a moment to follow my Tuesday morning (after all you’ve already read this far).
I woke up to a “freezing cold” bedroom because believe it or not the temperatures in Florida have actually dropped into the 40s. However, upon laying in bed snuggled under the covers, debating on getting out, I realized this time last year I was training to run a half-marathon in the dead of the New York winter. I was out running in the early morning darkness in temperatures far colder than a minor 40 degrees. And on top of that I have my adorable dog laying curled up beside me and my best friend getting ready to start her day in the room next to mine. I’m actually pretty lucky right? So we get up to go for a morning walk, and lucky for us we were some of the only folks on the street and were able to catch the last glimpses of the beautiful starry sky above us. There is something about staring up at the vast, dark, twinkling sky that gives off that endless sense of hope. We continue on through our morning routine and head into the car for our 45 minute commute into work.
The commute consisted of a beautiful sunrise, paired with the wise words of Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons. Nothing energizes my spirit more than watching the sun break through the clouds and slowly engulf the darkness above. I was feeling inspired and my mind began to turn with new ideas, the excitement of tackling my to-do list and the energy for life and how fortunate I am to be back working in an industry that speaks so closely to my heart. Not too mention an organization that has already changed my life in the most unexpected and beautiful ways. (Stay tuned for my 2015 recap, life is absolutely amazing).
I pulled off the road to go to my drive-thru Starbucks and grab my morning cup of coffee. Please note this is a habit I have been trying to break for the past 2 months, something I realistically should not be spending the extra $3 a day on, yet it also makes me happy. And you have to ask yourself, if it makes you happy and it is my choice to partake in the activity is it really all that bad? You have to feed your soul somehow right?
Today was a different day for me at Starbucks because I decided to buy the person’s coffee who was behind me in line. Keep in mind this is a drive-thru so I had no idea what they ordered, who they were, etc. Before I told the woman at the window that I wanted to pick up the tab for the person behind me, I suddenly got so tickled at the thought of how that person would react upon knowing that a stranger bought their coffee. It would change their morning! I could almost feel that level of surprise, a bubbling of the heart, and the smile that would take over them internally and externally. However, what happened next was something I could not have predicted. Upon telling the Starbucks barista that I wanted to pick up the tab for the car behind me, I watched a euphoric grin take over her face. A genuine smile came out, the 20 empty cups behind her disappeared, the beeping oven went silent, the hustle and bustle of the morning was completely gone. You would have thought I had given her a gift. And in exchange, I unknowingly gave her the gift of hope, happiness and good in the world.
That my friends is the magic of life.
The way one event leads to the next, the beauty of the unexpected and the force of cause and effect.
I took it upon myself to cheer up the morning of one person, in return for my current state of life. Instead my one act ended up changing the morning of two completely different people, and I can only hope that the ripple effect continued on after that. Maybe the barista went on to do something for someone that day, maybe the car behind me ended up picking up the tab for the car behind them and so forth. Who knows how many people might have received an unexpected gift of love this morning.
And it doesn’t matter for the number of souls touched is insignificant. What is significant is that if we will take a moment to pause, enjoy our current state of being and use our time (that we are so fortunate to have) productively, we can all make this world a better place.
So I challenge you today to place happiness and love into someone else’s life. It can be someone near to your heart, a stranger, an enemy, it doesn’t matter who it is. Whether you do something like giving them a monetary gift, a smile, a “have a great day,” or the squeeze of a hand; you have impacted someone else’s life. The magic behind it all is that sometimes we don’t know how much the smallest gesture can impact one’s current life or state of being. And we aren’t meant to know, for it is performing an act of greatness from the bottom of our hearts, expecting the unexpected that creates the fluid moment of our lives.
Never forget to say “Thank You” and may something wonderful happen to you today.
Life is always throwing us little check points and reminders to keep us on track. Sometimes these moments are to bring us back down to reality and add humility to our lives. Other times we miss them and thus miss an important moment, even if it is just for a second. So take notice, be aware, and live in the present. You never know what gift might be floating by, right in front of your nose.
This morning, December 10th, as I am completing my last morning of my 3-days of a long commute to work, I look up through my windshield and see a beautiful sunrise breaking in the clouds above me. A light blue is taking over the dark of night, while rays of gold, yellow, and a soft pink bring depth into the vast canvas above me. While taking in it's beauty and feeling so humble against the great giant world around us, my eye distracts and focuses in on the many black splotches that have smashed against my windshield.
Ah, another case of the damn love bugs. Immediately the simple joy of a new day is gone and I become quickly surrounded in a cloud of annoyance.
For those of you who don't know what love bugs are, they are a small black fly with a red thorax. They are prominent in Florida, especially in the mornings and just before nightfall. They tend to wreck havoc while driving as hundreds of their bodies smash against the windshield and hood of your car. It's not uncommon for folks to have to pull over to wipe them off in an attempt to clear their view and stay safe on the roads. In fact it's highly suggested to do so because their bodies are highly acidic and will pit the finish on your car if allowed to stay there indefinitely. Believe it or not they can even cause your car to over heat. Check it out here. Anyway, my goal is not to educate you on these creatures, or cause cancellation to your upcoming trip to the sunny state of Florida.
As I'm looking through my newly "love bug painted" windshield, the beauty of the sunrise completely leaves my chain of thoughts and instead a wave of pure anger rises inside of me. The pending stress from the day ahead begins to accelerate, my adrenaline starts pumping, the need to now pay for another car wash pops into my head, the fact that because my job is located in the middle of nowhere has caused millions of acidic bodies to cover my car (brand new car) for the fifth time this month. Moving into the thought of how my job brings so many unwanted daily frustrations and my daily contemplation of it's worth, and then transpiring into the angst of how lucky I would be to not have to come to this dreaded blue building (in the middle of nowhere) three times a week. The levels of rage, anxiety and a possible feeling of sadness engulf my thoughts like a forest fire.
And then I stop thinking all together.
A flash of "true reality" comes into my mind.
And I remember that over Thanksgiving my father and I were just hysterically laughing (the stomachache, tears in the eyes kind of laugh) about the damn love bugs in Florida. He was relaying his first trip to Florida in which upon crossing the state line thought he had suddenly entered into war or a possible black out! He didn't know what had happened and couldn't believe these "bugs" could cause such havoc. He went on about the extreme efforts it took to clear his view so that he could continue down to Key West. Those damn love bugs... And my daily exaggerated frustrations of the love bugs and how annoying they can be. We found this common ground of hate for the love bugs to be quite funny. One of those moments, where you really had to be sitting with us or understand the angst these little bugs can cause to truly find the humor behind it.
It was this memory that I suddenly found myself giggling in my car, as a smile began to emerge across my face, just like the sun casting it's beautiful rays, bringing light into the once dark sky. I suddenly felt so thankful to have shared these good laughs with a man who dedicated so much time to making me who I am today. In fact, I may only be his daughter through marriage, but every stepping stone I hit I see more and more of his gifts inside myself.
This morning I was reminded of the many reasons to be thankful, such as the fact that I have a job, that allows me to own a car, that allows me to live in a lovely sunny place, and that allows me to experience the ongoing war against the love bugs. Thus, I challenge you to find light in the negative moments today and every day.
The true irony of the story... today, December 10th, happens to also be my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad, we love you! - B and all the love bugs in Florida.
It's no coincidence that these moments seem to hit us out of left field, for I truly believe that if we could see them coming they wouldn't have the impact as if we were prepared for them. Be grateful for the surprises in life, even the ones that seem ugly on the outside and challenge yourself to find the deeper meaning.
Words from Hayden Fuss: "Life is a funny thing. I'm fascinated by how each event dictates the next, a very simple cliche we all accepted very early in life. But to me it's how these events look in retrospect, in the big picture, that is so overwhelmingly incredible.
When my parents found out Grant was special needs, it was a tumultuous and tragic time for them. In short, they had to change their lives. They chose to move to the beach in North Carolina, where Grant could be given up as a ward of the state and receive the complex care he required. It would allow my family to start anew. The people of their small Pennsylvania hometown thought they had gone crazy because of his ailments.
It was there was my father found success and fishing, my mother found friends and tennis, and my sister and I had sun soaked childhoods filled with lots of mistakes that helped us grow. I found skateboarding and my best friends. I played lacrosse which took me to Florida for one hell of a year. I was introduced to science and met brilliant people who inspired me to think. Because of them I've had some academic success and gotten to experience amazing cities like Raleigh and Boston. But really it's all because of Grant. Maybe things would have gone differently, but regardless, Grant happened and then so did all of that.
Time, like distance, can have such different meaning at different scales. What is a war and chaos at the microscale between your body's immune system and a virus, is harmonious healing at the macroscale (there are countless other examples...) And what is tragedy for a month or a year, is the best thing that ever happened in terms of a lifetime. I'm not saying I wanted Grant to be disabled, I'd give the world to share a beer with him and talk, but that event appeared to be chaos when really it was harmony, or I guess it's really a bit of both. They are indistinguishable.
We forget how much each second matters, how each changes our life. Moments, like musical notes, are insignificant and meaningless by themselves. But together, they play a beautiful song, with the transition from each moment just as important as the moments themselves."